The Truth About Government Assistance Scams

Steve Weisman

Confusion about government benefit programs is fertile ground for scammers. Social Security has been the basis for many con artists, who use this confusion to take advantage of unwary seniors.

One common Social Security scam involves promises by the criminals that they can get back to you from the federal government all of the Social Security tax payments you’ve made throughout your lifetime. For the proverbial “small fee,” which is usually about $100 and a percentage of the refund that never comes, the con artist promises to file the proper claims forms with the IRS. The truth is, there’s no such program. Social Security tax payments are never refundable. The victims pay their fees and ...

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